A few years (13or14) ago while in Canada, I bought a bag of Lays ketchup flavored potato chips, as it was something I hadn’t seen in the states and, therefore, must try it. I didn’t care for them and honestly had no desire to eat them ever again. Last week, though, while doing my grocery shopping at Meijer, I noticed that they had started carrying Herr’s brand potato chips. I had heard of this brand before, but don’t believe they have been sold in this region up until recently. What stood out to me was not the brand, though, but the flavors they offered. Creamy Dill, Horseradish and Cheddar, and Ketchup. There I was, standing in the middle of the aisle with a cart full of eggs and produce, staring at a chip flavor unbeknownst in these parts, so, of course, I bought a bag.
Upon opening the bag, I noticed the chips were coated in a thick red powder, which, upon reading the ingredients, I learned was tomato powder. LOTS of tomato powder, that is, much heavier coating than what we normally see on our chips.
Here’s how the tasting experience went: open bag, eat chip. Hmmm…not bad, somewhat of a bite to it, yeah, a little ketchupy. Eat more, salty bite, much like ketchup. A few more, wait, this is starting to taste like a salty tomato. Then the aftertaste hits…harsh tomato mush. After getting the tomato mush sensation, the experience was ruined. Every following bite recalled the same harsh mushy tomato flavor. I was done after just a small handful. I did return to the bag the following day, but could only put down a few chips before being turned off by them. It didn’t help that my hand was stained red like I had been eating bloody cheetos, either.
On further reflection, I tried to separate the flavor from the tomato image. The Ketchup label perhaps drew to mind the thought of eating straight ketchup, which to me would not be an ideal snack. Would I have been able to enjoy these chips with a mental separation from pure tomato paste? Perhaps had they named the chip “Appalacian BBQ” it would have been more tollerable. Honestly, though, I doubt it. These chips were, to be blunt, a bit nasty. Eat one, eat two, no problem. Dive into a bag, you’ve got imitation ketchup fingers and a torn-up tongue. Here’s my advice, stick to the flavors that at least sound like something you would want to eat in any type of quantity.
I give Herr’s Ketchup Flavored Potato Chips 1 bleeding cheeto out of 5 oz of partially hydrogenated artery blockage.